The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Japan are launching a groundbreaking project aimed at safeguarding the unique Colchic forests in the Machakheli Gorge of Georgia, and increasing access to affordable green energy for local communities.
The 12-month initiative draws on $545,000 in funding from Japan, and close collaboration with Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Ajara
Autonomous Republic, and the Administration of Khelvachauri Municipality.
The initiative is set to enhance forest protection measures in the Machakheli Gorge, reduce climate-related risks, and introduce sustainable renewable energy practices, including solar energy and biomass, among the local communities residing in the area. Its implementation will bring environmental, energy and social benefits to over 1,300 residents of the villages located in the support zone of Machakhela National Park.
By partnering with the central, regional, and municipal authorities, UNDP and Japan foster a sense of ownership and participation among local stakeholders and empower communities, especially women and youth, to take an active part in the sustainable management of forest resources.
Furthermore, this collaborative effort contributes to Georgia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement by supporting a 10% increase in the carbon-capturing capacity of forests by 2030, compared to 2015 levels, and a 30-35% drop in national greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
The UNDP’s and Japan’s support for sustainable forest management in Georgia aligns with UNDP’s global Climate Promise effort to assist 120 countries and territories in achieving their climate goals. Georgia is one of 23 countries where the Climate Promise is funded by Japan, the largest supporter of this pioneering initiative.